There is an essential need to provide power access to farmers 24 X 7 and the State Government should work progressively in this direction, Union Minister of Urban Development, Housing Urban Poverty Alleviation & Information and Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu said today while inaugurating the Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet (GRAM) in Kota.
He further said that the Central Government is making an earnest effort to provide electricity in the villages as well. This will enable the empowerment of the women, farmers, middle classes and the youth in the villages.
GRAM Kota is being held from 24 to 26 May at Kota in Rajasthan. The event is being jointly organised by the Government of Rajasthan and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).
The Union Minister further emphasized on the need for diversification of crops as the only way forward for the progress of the agriculture sector and in turn the nation. Apart from this, organic farming, processing, cold storage chains, development, post harvesting as well as should also be given adequate attention. This will also check the migration of farmers from agriculture to other sectors. He also said that Government should focus on the 4 ‘I’ for the well being of the farmers — Irrigation, Infrastructure, Interest Rate and Insurance.
Highlighting the achievements of the GRAM held in Jaipur in November 2016, Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje said that the event in November saw for the first time since independence, the participation of representatives of several countries like Nigeria, Australia, Tajikistan, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, UK, Serbia, Kazakhstan and World Bank. As many as 38 MoUs worth Rs. 4,400 crore were signed in the event.
The Chief Minister further added that the prime objective of GRAM is to ensure the self reliance of farmers. This will be possible only when the farmers will increase productivity with the use of modern technology and cultivate crops as per market demand. The CM also announced that if a farmer will setup a processing unit in his farm the Government will provide 50 percent subsidy on a minimum investment of Rs. 40 Lakhs. She also urged the farmers to earmark an area in their farms solely for organic farming.
The Malaysian High Commissioner in India, Hidayat Bin Abdul Hamid said that Malaysia and India have always enjoyed warm and friendly bi-lateral relations with each other. He hoped for the participation of Malaysia in the fast-economic progress of Rajasthan and identify key areas for investment in the State. He further stressed on the need for the new generations to be focused on agriculture sector for a holistic development. Malaysia is the partner country for the event.
Agriculture Minister, Government of Rajasthan Prabhu Lal Saini highlighted the agricultural strengths of the Kota division. He emphasised that the annual per capita income of farmers in the State has increased significantly from Rs. 64,000 to Rs. 88,000 due to the proactive efforts of the Government.
The mega agri-event also witnessed its first seminar on ‘Cultivating Opportunities through 4 Ws of Kota Agriculture.’ The seminar discussed the convergence of warehouse, water availability, women empowerment and workforce development for transforming Kota’s agricultural.
GRAM is a combination of ‘sustainable growth for all farmers, systematic restructuring of profitable agricultural changes, amenable participation of farmers and acceleration of movement for overall prosperity’, said Raghunath Dass Chhabra, Consultant, LTC Commercial.
Associate Director, Sustainable Agricultural Programme, WWF India, Mr. Sumit Roy spoke about ‘Water Harvesting in Kota – Unlimited Potential to Harvest’ during the seminar. Director, Indian Institute of Rural Development, Kuldeep Arora spoke on ‘Women Entrepreneurship – Road to Rural Transformation’. He said that there is a lot of scope for women in agriculture and allied activities.
Chief-Corporate Relations and GM – Corporate Communications, TAFE, Vijay Kumar Browning stressed on the need for workforce training in his presentation ‘Workforce Development – Time to Train’. He said that India needs skills across various sectors and agriculture that support more than half our population.
To conclude the seminar Senior Agriculture Economist, World Bank, Edward W. Bresnyan spoke about the key challenges in the agricultural value chain as well as the need for establishing warehouses through the region to maintain price stability and crop preservation. He also urged for the need for water efficiency by using technology like drip and sprinkler irrigation for better water management.